A central falsehood underlies President Obama's frequently expressed desire for more "stimulus" dollars. He not so subtly suggests that the main problem in a nation which has witnessed explosive growth of the federal workforce, which has a more than $16 trillion debt and which has a series of entitlements that are rushing toward bankruptcy is that the federal government is -- wait for it -- too small!
Really? Who'da thunk it?
To grasp the lunacy -- to say nothing of the sheer gall -- of such a notion, consider the fact that the federal workforce grew by a quarter of a million employees from just before Obama took office through last September. That amounted to a 13 percent increase, and today's civilian federal workforce stands at a grotesquely bloated 2.2 million people.
There was a minuscule decrease from last September through early this year at agencies such as the IRS, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency. But as USA Today noted, even those agencies still employed more people than they did before the Obama-era government hiring extravaganza. And not to get all picky and technical about it, but during the same swelling of the ranks of federal bureaucrats, private-sector employment was plunging by 5 percent.
Does Washington even notice all that private-sector suffering? Commentator Jonathan Chait doesn't think so. He made a disturbingly cogent observation in a recent column.
Noting that unemployment is remarkably low around Washington, D.C., an area that prospers greatly from federal spending, Chait declared of his own neighborhood in Washington, "when my children grow up, they'll have no personal memory of having lived through the greatest economic crisis in eighty years. It is more akin to a famine in Africa."
So much for all the condescending gabble about Washington "feeling our pain."
Meanwhile, you could have missed it if you blinked, but it was only weeks ago that our national debt passed the scarcely comprehensible mark of $16 trillion.
Your share as a U.S. citizen: $51,000. The bill per taxpayer: $140,000.
But no, Mr. Obama, don't hesitate for a moment to keep calling for more stimulus and an even larger federal workforce.
While you're at it, don't bother making any serious calls for reform of entitlements, either. Don't point out to the American people that Medicare is expected to go broke just a few years down the road and that the Social Security Ponzi scheme is projected to collapse not very long after that. Why should you? Assuming you have more respect for the 22nd Amendment's limits on presidential terms than you have for other parts of the Constitution, you'll be out of office by then and it'll be somebody else's problem. No muss, no fuss.
No economy either, of course, but why get bogged down in petty details?
related articles »
A famous engraving on the exterior of a New York City post office reads, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat ...
It can't be a good sign when our country more or less gets used to the federal government adding more ...
President Barack Obama and some members of Congress are convinced that the government should be taxing, borrowing and spending even ...
No one can say that Tennessee and the rest of the nation were not warned about the financial dangers of ...